On the surface, country music might not seem to have a whole lot in common with genres like hip-hop and R&B.

For one thing, the latter two styles are more often associated with city life, while country is often — well, about life out in the middle of nowhere. Then there's also the fact that the two genres use different production styles and different core instruments. When you hear banjo or steel guitar, more often than not, you think old-school country music!

Still, there's been no shortage of great collabs between artists from the two camps over the years, and plenty of talented people who are fans of both making and listening to both genres. Country, hip-hop and R&B all share a common ancestor in gospel music, and many stars who've dabbled in multiple genres — Jelly Roll and T-Pain, for two — cite gospel as a big influence.

But it's no secret that artists outside of the genre — especially Black artists and women — face an uphill battle at finding acceptance in country music, where radio airplay and festival bookings are just two of the facets of the genre that show a marked bias against non-white, non-male performers.

For example, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" was officially announced as her debut country radio single on Wednesday (Feb. 14), and as of Sunday (Feb. 18), the song is on track to chart on Billboard's Country Airplay. If it does, she'll become the first solo Black female artist to crack that chart since Mickey Guyton in 2016.

In fact, according to a tweet from singer and podcast host Rissi Palmer, only 7 Black women have held spots on the Billboard country charts since Linda Martell became the first commercially successful Black female country artist in 1970. (Fun fact: Martell did a brief stint in the R&B genre early in her career, before she began to sing country! We didn't put her on this list, though, since the vast majority of her career took place in the country genre.)

There are some other notable exclusions on this list of hip-hop and R&B stars who've crossed over. Singers like Jason Aldean and Walker Hayes have both embraced a rapping vocal style in some of their songs, but they're not included on this list because neither artist ever worked primarily in the hip-hop format — they've both always been country, albeit a little genre-bending.

Also absent from this roundup are singers from the hick-hop subgenre, like Bubba Sparxxx, Cowboy Troy, Colt Ford and Upchurch. While it's true that these artists blend elements of country and hip-hop, most of them are interested in forging their own lane somewhere in the middle, not in working entirely within one genre while also crossing entirely over into another.

Without further ado, read through the list below to get to know some of the stars who've crossed the border from hip-hop or R&B music over into country. Some of these stars were simply country-curious, while others made a more permanent switch. One went on to become one of the biggest superstars of today's country music!

16 Hip-Hop and R&B Stars Who've Gone Country

These out-of-genre talents range from mildly country-curious to full-blown genre swapping. Here are 16 times hip-hop and R&B superstars tried their hand at making country music.

Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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